Also sometimes referred to as "The Darling Diversion," or "Controlled Abandon," Scottish country dance is the traditional ballroom dance of Scotland. It is based on ancient folk dances, mixed with elements of ballet, influences from the Royal court of France, and some overlap with Highland dancing. Dances consist of lively jigs, reels, and hornpipes, along with the more elegant and romantic strathspey.
Scottish country dance was carried around the world by Scottish immigrants and by Highland regiments. It remains popular world-wide, in places as far away as Paris, Japan, and Moscow. If you are a Scottish Country Dancer, you can find a group to dance with anywhere in the US and most of Europe. There are hundreds of dances, some dating back to the 1700s with more being devised every year! Scottish Country Dance is enjoyed by all ethnicities and ages. In the Bay Area, you will meet many ex-patriot Scots, but many join the Scottish Country Dance community with no direct link to Scottish ancestry. Everyone is welcome!
Interested in trying Scottish Country Dancing? Come by yourself or with a friend. Undecided? Come by to observe. No partners are needed to attend classes or parties, and you need not be Scottish nor wear a kilt to enjoy the fun. Comfortable, flexible shoes are recommended. Experienced dancers often prefer ghillies (or ballet shoes for the ladies). But tennis shoes, jazz shoes, or other flexible shoes all work. Ladies tend to wear skirts with enough fullness to move in.
You dance with partners in sets of two or more couples doing an exciting variety of formations. Unlike some other forms of social dance, it is customary to change partners every dance so that you get to meet and dance with a variety of partners!
The San Jose class is a member of the RSCDS San Francisco Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society which sponsors classes, social dances and formal balls throughout the Bay Area. There is something going on practically every week - classes, a monthly party or workshop somewhere in the Bay Area , and spectacular balls right here in the San Francisco Bay Area! Every class feels like a party! For those with a hankering to travel, there are Scottish Country Dance events and workshops all over the US, Canada, Great Britain, and Europe to name a few.
People come from all over the world to dance at the spectacular Asilomar Scottish Weekend Workshop and Ball in Pacific Grove every fall. Click on the previous link to see this year's schedule. Many people end up attending this workshop and ball a very short time after joining the SCD community. Ball programs consist of a variety of dances geared towards beginners through advanced dancers. For the ladies, it is a rare chance to wear a ball gown, but not the only one!
If you are beginner, start small and make us your home base! We dance every Monday night in Willow Glen. Beginners always welcome! During the regular sessions beginning in the fall, the San Jose class is known for their awesome refreshments!
We hold our own and also host several parties throughout the year for the larger Bay Area SCD community at different venues. Several teachers rotate during the normal teaching year with a more casual no host teaching schedule during the summer.
The San Jose Class welcomes beginners throughout the year between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. More experienced dancers attend from 8:30 to 10:00. The door will be open at 7:15 pm. Observers always welcome. The cost is $7.00 per class, with a discount available at the beginning of each 12 week session, if you sign up for the entire session.
Your first class is free!
The summer months are less structured, and regular sessions start back up in September.
Our dance hall is easy to find and is in the lovely and safe Willow Glen area with easy parking:
American Legion Hall #318 1504 Minnesota Ave. San Jose, CA 95125
Contact the organizer of this meetup for more information.